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Personal and Neighborhood Attributes Associated with Cervical and Colorectal Cancer Screening in an Urban African American Population
  • Published Date:
    August 29 2019
  • Source:
    Prev Chronic Dis. 16
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-477.39 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Assessing individual social determinants of health in primary care might be complemented by consideration of population attributes in patients’ neighborhoods. We studied associations between cervical and colorectal cancer screening and neighborhood attributes among an African American population in Philadelphia.


    We abstracted demographic and cancer screening information from records of patients seen during 2006 at 3 federally qualified health centers and characterized patients’ census tracts of residence by using census, survey, and other data to define population metrics for poverty, racial segregation, educational attainment, social capital, neighborhood safety, and violent crime. We used generalized estimating equations to obtain adjusted relative risks of screening associated with individual and census tract attributes.


    Among 1,708 patients for whom colorectal cancer screening was recommended, screening was up to date for 41%, and among 4,995 women for whom cervical cancer screening was recommended, screening was up to date for 75%. After controlling for age, sex (for colorectal cancer screening), insurance coverage, and clinic site, people living in the most racially segregated neighborhoods were nearly 10% more likely than others to be unscreened for colorectal cancer. Other census tract population attributes were not associated with differences in screening levels for either cancer.


    The association between lower rates of colorectal cancer screening and neighborhood racial segregation is consistent with known barriers to colonoscopy among African Americans combined with effects of segregation on health-related behaviors. Recognition of the association between segregation and lower colorectal cancer screening rates might be useful in informing and targeting community outreach to improve screening.

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